The word “disaster” doesn’t always imply wreaking havoc caused by Mother Nature. But disaster can strike in various ways; chemical spills, tech failures, hackers, water leakage, fire outbreaks, intrusions, or network infiltrations. You probably don’t prepare your home for disaster appropriately. However, being prepared can help you reduce losses, anxiety, and fear that accompany disasters. Take a look at the simple practical preparedness steps to help you keep your life, loved ones, and property safe in an emergency.
Avoid Damaging Your Stuff
Moving your belongings from an old home to a new one can be stressful, but it’s an important part of practical preparedness. It’s even unpleasant and never exactly fun. But it always leads to positive outcomes when done safely. So, take precautions to help reduce the chances of accidentally damaging your home. Here are simple measures to adopt, especially when moving items like beds, dining tables, and couches:
- Take time when carrying large items through doorways.
- Dismantle large items and carry them out piece by piece.
- Use specialized equipment like a trolley whenever possible.
- Ensure you have enough people to help you move heavy and awkward items.
- Measure hallways and doorways in advance to ensure they’re wide enough for large items to pass through.
These steps will help protect your home from possible damage. You can also hire moving companies for a stress-free and smooth experience. Experienced professionals know how to transport stuff that you might not, pack a lamp properly, load and unload boxes, and wrap your mattress safely. They also use the right materials to eliminate or reduce damage to your belongings.
Make Your Home Safe
Historically, doors have been around for ages and continue to play a significant role in our lives. They’re one of the essential parts of your house. That’s why you need to ensure they function correctly with practical preparedness. Doors protect us from intruders and help maintain security and privacy in your home.
You deserve a residential steel door because it’s the most durable and doesn’t crack, rot, or warp. Remember, steel requires fewer repairs, last longer, and is sturdier than most products. It outperforms aluminum, fiberglass, and wood in security, sound reduction, fire ratings, and vandal resistance.
You might also have heard of door alarms, a very subtle home security device. Door alarms are usually small, wireless boxes attached close to the doors in your house using magnetic strips.
You may position one main door alarm close to the front door. Or, you may attach door alarms to all the doors in your home (safe doors, cellar doors, glass garden doors, garage doors, side, and back doors, etc.).
If someone tries to open any of the alarmed doors, the sensitive motion detector on the alarms will trigger a security alert.
Window alarms work similarly, using sensors to alert you if an intruder tries to open a window. A window alarm can be helpful for ground-floor windows around your house because they’re more prone to break-ins.
Door and window alarms are effective and affordable home security products. Additionally, wireless door and window alarms might have reduced installation charges. They’re simple to install, and you may even set them up yourself.
Natural disasters and flash floods aren’t the only causes of homes flooding. A broken water main, appliance malfunctions, leaky pipes, and other unexpected household issues can cause flooding. A crack in your septic tank can leach the sewage into the soil and make its way into your house! Seek local septic tank repairs if you notice greener grass over the tank and still water that smells like sewage. Here are other practical preparedness steps to lower flood risk and minimize damage to your home:
- Apply adhesives and coatings to your walls, doorways, windows, and foundation to help prevent a flood from leaking into your house through openings and cracks.
- Leave space between siding and mulch. Wet mulch might rot in your house’s siding and turn into leaks.
- Grade the lawn away from your house, as rainwater can pool around if the lawn tilts towards your home. Use heavy soil that contains sand and clay to re-grade your lawn so that surface runoffs empty into the right place, like a street gutter.
- Raise your electrical switches and outlets at least one foot above the flood levels to avoid electrical damage in the case of a flood.
- Hire a gutter guard company to point your downpours away from your house. Your gutter runoff can pool at the corners of your house and eventually leak in your basement if it isn’t pointed away from your home.
Remove Potential Dangers
Factually, there is no hazard-free home. Anything in your home can fall, break, move, or cause a fire during an emergency. But common hazards at home include allergies, poisoning, fire, falls, choking, burns, and cuts. The list is practically endless! So, as part of your practical preparedness, do your research and craft a risk assessment of your home that can include the following:
Fire at home can cause severe damage to you, your loved ones, and your properties. So, have working smoke alarms in the house and a fire plan safety protocol in place. Here are ways to reduce the risk of home fire:
- Never leave cooking unattended.
- Reduce flammable clutter like old boxes or paper.
- Assess electrical systems and consult an expert if you notice loose or frayed wires.
- Maintain any chimneys or fireplaces with regular inspections from an expert.
Most importantly, having a home insurance cover can help cover your property if an accidental fire damages it. So, choose the right policy for you.
Trees with aggressive root systems might wreak havoc on your basement and foundation. This makes your house vulnerable to flooding. Plant troublesome trees such as aspens, white fir, and maple trees nearly 20 feet from your home. If you already have a tree that’s too close, get it removed to avoid future issues.
Plus, having dead or dying trees might cause significant damage to your home and risk your overall safety. In such situations, you’ll need to cut them immediately.
Cutting smaller trees might pose a few challenges. But for larger ones, they might be harder to remove. So, hire a tree removal specialist to help cut undesired trees properly and safely.
Mold grows when water condenses onto surfaces such as window frames and walls. It’s also related to your home’s humidity. If you’re allergic to mold, symptoms can include headaches, itchy eyes, and sneezing. Prevent mold with practical preparedness by removing condensation from your home’s surfaces, particularly in damp areas like the kitchen and bathroom, and keep your air vents clear. You can also use an air purifier.
Secure Your Belongings
Securing your house helps safeguard your belongings and is an important part of practical preparedness. This gives you peace of mind and keeps your loved ones safe. Here are relatively inexpensive and easy-to-implement steps to help keep your home secure:
- Obtain content insurance
- Register expensive items
- Your house postcode and number should be marked on your house with a UV pen
- List all the valuable items in your house
- Use the built-in security features for your devices like computers, tablets, and mobile phones
Moreover, you can buy a lock box or safe to keep important documents, jewelry, cash, and other things you wouldn’t want a burglar to walk away with. If you keep your gun at home, ensure it’s securely and properly stored. Take the necessary precautions, especially if you’ve got adolescents and kids at home.
But you should ensure that your riffle is easily accessible should you need to retrieve it. Contact your reliable gun safe company for a well-concealed lockbox. This prevents unauthorized access to your gun and ensures you have it close at hand. A sturdy gun safe can also be adequate, though you should ensure it’s well hidden from potential intruders.
For big items like electronics, you may keep them safer by putting them in a hidden place when not in use. Intruders want to be in and out of your house as fast as possible. So, even the smallest deterrent may help.
Kick Out Pests
A well-kept, tidy house is always pest free, right? Not really! It’s imperative to keep pests out of your office or home, or anywhere humans eat and especially live, and practical preparedness can help. Rats, mice, and roaches, among others, carry illnesses that can make you unwell. For instance, mice have Hantavirus, which can be fatal. Mice and rats can also bring fleas into your house.
Moreover, home-invading pests find their way into your house for food. Wood-faring bugs like carpenter ants and termites can tear your home apart! They hide within the walls, so they can cause havoc before you notice they’re there.
Other pests like silverfish and carpet beetles are attracted to organic fibers and love to munch your items. Clothing, towels, blankets, and couches are at risk for damage.
Contact one of your local exterminators to help determine whether your home is pest infested. They’ll recommend the best way to kick them out!
Schedule Regular Inspections
Owning a house is a goal that most people have and work towards. Once you achieve this dream, then you should take care of it. Here are the benefits of regular home inspections:
Prevent Unforeseen Issues
Your house might be perfect from the outside, but you may get a different report after the assessment. If not fixed as soon as possible, the roof might have issues that can cause immense damage. Chimney inspection companies can have experienced eyes on your system to check for flue blockages, cracks, leaks, damage, creosote buildup, and other problems.
It may seem costly to hire an inspector. But it might help you in the long run if they find an issue and resolve it before it worsens. Otherwise, the problem might force you to leave your house for a while before it’s fixed, making you spend more.
For instance, an affordable plumbing service can help you catch a leaking hose issue. This can signal leakage from hidden water pipes. With time, if the leak isn’t fixed, it might affect your home, so think about practical preparedness. Inspecting your home for leaks might seem unnecessary, but it gives you peace and assurance that you’re safe. With regular inspections, you can even fall asleep worry-free the whole night.
Add Proper Insulation
Proper home insulation can save money and create a healthy, energy-efficient, and comfortable living environment for you and your loved ones. Remember, all insulation helps maintain optimum temperatures inside your house.
Fiberglass, the most commonly used and less expensive option, is effective in parts of the home, but spray-form insulation is better in areas where it gets humid, hot, or cold, like attics. Most likely, you rarely think of insulating your attic. After all, it’s itchy and dusty and has been there since your home was built.
Remember, practical preparedness and properly functioning insulation can save about 20% of your energy bills. Plus, how a thoughtful spray foam insulation company applies spray foam can cut your bill in half.
Instead of applying it in specific parts, they view your house holistically and apply it throughout the entire structure, including the underside of the roof deck. Spray forms will then expand to fill external wall areas, creating a sealed thermal envelope.
For most, the word “home” implies a feeling of warmth and safety. After spending more time, money, and effort renting or buying a home, people are often exhausted to even think about how to prevent accidents or hazards.
Truthfully, you can prevent most mishaps at home. It would help if you took the necessary and pretty simple measures to do so. This is important for families with seniors or young children. You wouldn’t want to face a dangerous situation and find it too late to fix it. So, use this guide to help you identify and reduce mishaps at your home.